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October: Month of Golden Wind

Autumn Morning Light at Valley Zendo (Charlemont, MA}

 October is the time in our part of western Massachusetts that trees turn from green to yellow, orange, and red.  When a strong wind blows, the leaves fly off in a Golden Wind.  By November, the tree limbs are bare.  Looking out the window into our back yard during meditation this morning, I could see the first signs of this change.  In the next ten to fifteen days the leaves will reach their peak of color.  This spectacular transition from summer to winter happens every year.  Yes, it's beautiful, but it's also a reminder of the impermanence of all things, a truth that has a solemn element to it.  If I were able to live entirely in the now of the splendid colors, I might enjoy this transition more, but I'm always aware--looking ahead--that there are going to be many leaves to rake and then, quite soon, snow to shovel.  It is a long and sometimes dark period of waiting from now until green leaves reemerge in May.

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